Ryan Patrick Dolan's tribute to late Chicago comedy coach Mike Enriquez

January 25, 2012

Chicago improviser and  teacher Mike Enriquez, who coached current Saturday Night Live performers Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain (as well as many others), died last week after losing his battle with cancer. Writer and performer Ryan Patrick Dolan talks about how he was the kind of guy who, in Christopher Piatt's words, "if he asked for a donut, you went out and bought a deep fat fryer." Read an excerpt, and listen below: 

There is a story that sums up Mike Enriquez as a human being. One summer he decided to volunteer at a Special Olympics event as a hugger. After a special needs participant finished a race, he would hug them and tell them they did a great job.

When Mike showed up to the race track, they had enough huggers, so he was assigned to the team that kept the runners on the track, in case they wanted to veer off. Much to Mike's surprise, when he tried to keep them in their lane, he was rewarded by being punched and kicked  repeatedly. In one race, a special needs participant got off the track and Mike chased after him for about ten minutes, until finally the runner raced up into the stands and sat down next to his mother.

After that, Mike decided to contribute monetarily. 

This Saturday at the Horseshoe, topics up for discussion include Oscar nominations, the State of the Union, the death of Joe Paterno, and the demise of Heidi and Seal's relationship. With readings by The Moth host Don Hall, Hans Holsen of Baby Wants Candy; James Porter from Downbeat Magazine; Emily Rose of Real Talk Live; TimeOut Theater critic Christopher Shea; improvisor and playwright Julia Weiss. Plus Chad the Bird, and a very special Etta James tribute by Bethany Thomas.

The Paper Machete is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your The Paper Machete Radio Magazine needs filled here, or download the podcast from iTunes here.